David G. Luenberger

September 16, 1937

Brief Biography

David G. Luenberger is a Saul Gass Expository Writing Award laureate whose corpus of works include books on dynamic systems, optimization, and investment science. Born in 1937, Luenberger received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology before pursuing graduate study at Stanford University. As a grad student, he introduced new methods for the construction of state observers – systems that provide estimates of the internal state of a given real system. Luenberger received a PhD in 1963 under William Kirby Linvill.

Luenberger remained at Stanford, eventually becoming a full professor. In 1967, he was one of the original founders of the university’s Department of Engineering-Economic Systems, which eventually merged into the Department of Management Science and Engineering. Luenberger chaired the department in the 1980s and graduated 52 PhD students in the discipline.  He retired in 2013. 

Luenberger’s research interests primarily involve the application of mathematics and optimization to control, planning, and decision making. His work has led to a number of books including Optimization by Vector Space Methods (1969), Introduction to Dynamic Systems: Theory, Models and Applications (1979), Investment Science (1997), and Information Science (2006). Optimization by Vector Space Models successfully teaches engineers how to solve complex problems regarding decision making in the distribution of expensive resources. Investment Science is widely used and referenced by financial academics and practitioners alike. Luenberger’s most recent book, Information Science, is built around the five “E’s” of information (entropy, economics, encryption, extraction, and emission) and outlines how each area directly impacts modern information products to explain important concepts in the ongoing revolution of information technology.

In addition to the Saul Gass Expository Writing Award, Luenberger is a recipient of the Rufus Oldenburger Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for lifetime achievements in automatic control. He is additonally an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 

Other Biographies

Wikipedia Entry for David Luenberger

Hong Kong Polytechnical University. Staff: Honorary Professor David G. Luenberger. Accessed May 5, 2015. (link

Stanford University Profiles. David Luenberger's Profile. Accessed May 5, 2015. (link


California Institute of Technology, BS 1959

Stanford University, MS 1961 

Stanford University, PhD 1963 (Mathematical Genealogy)


Academic Affiliations

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Awards and Honors

Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow 1975

IEEE Control Systems Society Hendrick W. Bode Lecture 1990

IEEE Control Systems George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper Award 1986

ASME Rufus Oldenburger Medal 1998

Saul Gass Expository Writing Award 1999

National Academy of Engineering 2008

Selected Publications

Luenberger D. G. (1964) Observing the state of a linear system. IEEE Transactions on Military Electronics, 8(2): 74-80.

Luenberger D. G. (1966) Observers for multivariable systems. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 11(2): 190-197.

Luenberger D. G. (1967) Canonical forms for linear multivariable systems. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 12(3): 290-293.

Luenberger D. G. (1969) Optimization by Vector Space Methods. Wiley & Sons: New York.

Luenberger D. G. (1973) Introduction to Linear and Nonlinear Programming. Addison-Wesley: Reading, MA.

Luenberger D. G. (1979) Introduction to Dynamic Systems: Theory, Models and Applications. Wiley & Sons: New York.

Luenberger D. G. (1992) Benefit functions and duality. Journal of Mathematical Economics, 21(5): 461-481.

Luenberger D. G. (1995) Microeconomic Theory. McGraw-Hill: New York.

Luenberger D. G. (1997) Investment Science. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Luenberger D. G. (2006) Information Science. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.

Luenberger D. G. (2014) Investment Science, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Luenberger D. G. and Yinyu Ye (2015)  Introduction to Linear and Nonlinear Programming, 4th edition.  Addison-Wesley: Reading, MA.

Additional Resources

(1999) The 'gift' of words: 1999 INFORMS Expository Writing Award winner David G. Luenberger reveals his "secrets" of success. OR/MS Today, 26(6). (link)